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Mapping the Ethicality of Algorithmic Pricing: A Review of Dynamic and Personalized Pricing

Peter Seele (), Claus Dierksmeier (), Reto Hofstetter () and Mario D. Schultz ()
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Peter Seele: Università della Svizzera Italiana
Claus Dierksmeier: Universität Tübingen
Reto Hofstetter: University of Lucerne
Mario D. Schultz: Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics, Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI)

Journal of Business Ethics, 2021, vol. 170, issue 4, No 4, 697-719

Abstract: Abstract Firms increasingly deploy algorithmic pricing approaches to determine what to charge for their goods and services. Algorithmic pricing can discriminate prices both dynamically over time and personally depending on individual consumer information. Although legal, the ethicality of such approaches needs to be examined as often they trigger moral concerns and sometimes outrage. In this research paper, we provide an overview and discussion of the ethical challenges germane to algorithmic pricing. As a basis for our discussion, we perform a systematic interpretative review of 315 related articles on dynamic and personalized pricing as well as pricing algorithms in general. We then use this review to define the term algorithmic pricing and map its key elements at the micro-, meso-, and macro levels from a business and marketing ethics perspective. Thus, we can identify morally ambivalent topics that call for deeper exploration by future research.

Keywords: Ethical pricing; Algorithmic pricing; Dynamic pricing; Personalized pricing; Discrimination (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10551-019-04371-w

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